ACTION ALERT: Save the Waldorf's 36 RSO Units!

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 2 min read
Side view of the former Waldorf Hotel, an early 20th century white building, with a fire escape. Venice Beach is in the background.

I've already addressed the fact that LA has over 1,000 hotels and over 100,000 hotel rooms. The midst of a housing use crisis is a wildly inappropriate time to turn existing affordable housing into hotels.

I've already mentioned the ongoing loss of affordable housing in Venice, much of it going to short-term rentals (some legal, some not).

If you care at all about Venice's lower-income residents, why not speak up for them? Three dozen RSO units are at stake.

If you can make it to Sawtelle tomorrow (Wednesday, March 6), the West Los Angeles Planning Department hearing will be held at the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center at 4:30 pm. If you can't, you can still make public comment (more on that in a minute).

5 Westminster Avenue, aka 1217 S. Ocean Front Walk, aka the Waldorf, contains 36 RSO apartments, but the owner displaced the long-term residents and converted it into the trendy Venice V Hotel. RSO units are not supposed to be converted into hotel rooms. Doing so is a violation of the Home Sharing Ordinance.

The owner is now seeking a conditional use permit to add a theater and a restaurant with a full bar.

As you can see in the screenshot below, taken from ZIMAS, the building is subject to RSO and was used for housing within the last five years. Pull up the permit history, and permits issued within a few weeks of the hotel getting a write-up in Vogue (yes, really) describe the building as an "apartment-hotel", which is not the same thing as a tourist hotel.

I couldn't tell you why, precisely, the owner has gotten away with this for so long. But it's not too late to speak up.

Can't get to the hearing in person? Get the Zoom link, passcode, and instructions here.

Can't attend via Zoom either? You still have tonight to send an email asking the Commissioners to uphold the appeals and deny approval of the requested Conditional Use Permit and Coastal Development Permit Case ZA-2021-CUB-CU-CDP-1A.

Email and - soon. Wednesday is just a few hours away.

We all love a cool hotel, but they should never come at the expense of low-income residents - especially in a city that already has so many hotels and a dwindling supply of existing affordable housing.

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere is a fourth-generation Angeleno. She is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

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